1Ti 3:8-10  “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.”

In verses two through seven of this chapter, Paul has laid out detailed requirements for those who desire the work of the office of a bishop. Some of these same expectations carry over to the office of a deacon. There should be a Godly desire for the office. There must also be an clear understanding that it is a labor and not just a title.

When seeking out a deacon, the candidate must be worthy of honor and respect (grave). He should have a good report within his family, his community, and his congregation. He should be approachable by everyone and willing to listen to the concerns of those he serves. His labor should be performed with love and thanksgiving.

Jesus taught us that we should let our communication be “Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Mat. 5:37).” Paul reiterates this requirement in the characteristics of a deacon. The deacon must not be double tongued. To do so is a sure way to sow discord and cause hurt feelings.

Like a bishop, the deacon must not be given to wine. Both the bishop and the deacon should be careful to shun the consumption of alcohol or anything else that would give those within reason to stumble or those without reason to point a finger. A deacon must be honest in the way that he handles any physical business whether it relates to the care and maintenance of the church or his personal business. Shady deals should never be a part of the way business is conducted.

It is necessary that the deacons hold the mystery of the faith. This is not speaking of anything that has to do with the church being some sort of secret society. The mystery of the faith is in our understanding that God holds all power, that His Son was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose again. The mystery continues in that the Holy Spirit makes these things known to us in a way that, while we might not be able to prove it to the doubter’s satisfaction, we cling to it as the very anchor of our lives.

We are to hold this confidence in God with a pure conscience. The Spirit told Philip to go into the desert and chase down a powerful stranger in a chariot. He was told to go and join himself to the chariot, so he ran and did as the Spirit instructed. There is no indication that he ever thought to hesitate, but rather demonstrated what it means to hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Most of us have been blessed to be in a congregation where we have observed some brother stepping up in every situation. Out of a pure love for the church, they seek to be involved in helping with any task and serving the community. We can observe them “using the office of a deacon” without any official recognition. These men who step into service willingly and humbly are the men the church should be looking at to ordain as deacons.

May God continue to send men who desire to serve Him by serving His church!

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